Lunes Domingo at the Verve on Final Fridays

In a word association game, Austin, Texas or Chicago would come to most people’s minds way before Terre Haute if the prompt were “music scene.” Tim Doyle, who lived and worked in Austin for 8 years as a performer and teacher, and who currently plays in Greater Midwest Guitar Circle in Chicago, is doing what he can to change that.

Doyle has been instrumental (pun intended) in forming a local “musical cooperative.” While the term seems to fit with the ethos of Eugene V. Debs, Doyle uses it in an attempt to refocus audience expectations.

“I have found that when we use the term “band”, the audience expects the same players, the same songs,” Doyle explained. “This project involves many people and is also not locked into one style. Each show we put on will have a different flavor to it.”

There’s definitely a Latin flavor to the cooperative’s name. With just enough knowledge of Spanish for it to be a dangerous thing, I thought Lunes Domingo might mean “God of the Moon.” Not even close. There’s no connection to renowned tenor Placido Domingo either.

“The name was trivial in the beginning,” Doyle told me, “representing the days of the week in which the work was being done: Sunday rehearsal, Monday at the Verve. The spirit of the project now is one of continual momentum, so the name can reflect how we approach the work we do from Monday (Lunes) through Sunday (Domingo). Music is a daily affair with us and the name represents that well.”

Doyle came to Terre Haute when his wife was employed to teach music theory at ISU. He met Eric Schatz, Al Doti and John Ford at the very first Monday Night Jazz Jam at the Verve in 2011.

“Being new to town, and in need of a group to play with, I reached out to Schatz and Doti to form a trio, and “click” we did!”  Doyle said. “The Monday Jam is still going strong and the Verve has become like a home for me.”

Like most musicians, the members of Lunes Domingo have day jobs. Schatz is the band director at Terre Haute South; Doti works for his family’s company, JADCore; Ford works at ISU; and Doyle runs the Terre Haute Guitar Club for the Community School of the Arts, also at ISU. Schatz and Doyle both have graduate degrees in music, while Doti and Ford have many years of experience playing with an impressive list of people. The trio is the core of the outfit – other participants have been added as they have been developing the project. Tom Whiteman, a percussion major at ISU working on his undergraduate degree, has also become a regular.

Lunes Domingo in its various permutations will perform regularly at the Verve on the Final Friday of each month in 2014. The group will always have the same name, but never the same sound.

As Doyle describes it, “In January the show had a folk element to it, thanks to guests Brad Lone and Christina Blust, of The Yearbook Committee. The February show features The Brown James, a hip-hop duo. March is looking to be more of a rock show, April will have strong Blues overtones, and May….well the plan anyways…is to have a horn section allowing us to explore the funk/jazz arena. We love to dabble with a large variety!”

Doyle had no problem noting advantages for musicians in Terre Haute over Austin and Chicago.

“Since it’s a smaller city, it’s not as saturated with comparable or similar type music. I have found it much easier to network here. The audience is also more concentrated and easier to reach.”

Be part of that audience on the final Friday of every month starting at 10:00. You’ll  have to go more than once to see how this Lunes Domingo idea of a cooperative works, but with a mere $3 cover, you can afford to.

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